Apr 16

Sky Report: April 18 – 24

Planets continue to put on a great show in the morning sky, and with Daylight Time moving the sunrise to an hour later than nature intended you don’t have to get up at an unreasonable hour to see them. So here’s what’s happening this week. Jupiter was behind the sun on March 6, but it […]

Apr 10

Sky Report: April 11-17

The parade of planets continues in the morning sky and is well-worth making the effort to see. There are a few highlights in the weeks ahead, but again, as I continue to belabor, the planets’ motions are a continuous series of day-by-day (or morning-by-morning) motions but not isolated, discreet events. When the planets appear close […]

Apr 3

Sky Report: April 4-10

There was a wonderful grouping of the planets in the morning sky on March 28, and it’s followed by two beautiful very close conjunctions in April. Don’t let the fact that they take place in the morning deter you – half of all astronomical events take place in the morning, and with Daylight Time the […]

Mar 26

Sky Report: March 28-April 3

As reported last week, there is a wonderful grouping of three planets and the moon on Monday morning, the 28th. Check the Sky Report archive at https://stellarvistaobservatory.org/category/sky-reports/ for a graphic. The best time to look is about 45 minutes before sunrise to see brilliant Venus while only a few degrees away are Mars, Saturn, and […]

Mar 20

Sky Report: March 21-27

The planets are going through interesting motions in the morning sky that you don’t want to miss. This is the best week and it culminates on the morning of Monday the 28th, which is included here. Then things quiet down. The best time is roughly 45 minutes before sunrise but you have a wide window […]

Mar 12

Sky Report: March 14-20

Around the new year we had an abundance of planets in the evening sky, but now all the action is in the morning. That won’t daunt true stargazers. And the action is pretty good. All is helped by the fact that we’re now on Daylight Time so just as the sun sets an hour later, […]

Mar 7

Sky Report: March 7-14

This week the moon crosses the winter Milky Way, unfortunately blotting it from view by its bright light, but in its journey it passes near some bright stars and several star clusters. On the 8th it’s precisely midway between the two most famous, and most easily visible, clusters: the Pleiades or Seven Sisters is to […]

Feb 27

Sky Report: February 28 – March 6

Once again the moon is near the planet Uranus. On the evening of the 6th the distant planet is 2½° (5 moon-diameters) straight above the crescent moon and you can see both together in binoculars. The other planets are in the morning sky. Venus is brilliant, low in the southeast before sunrise, far brighter than […]

Feb 19

Sky Report: February 21 – February 27

There are no bright planets in the evening sky (just Uranus, which is barely visible in binoculars) but Venus is brilliant in the morning sky and Mars is nearby. It’s still winter and the sun still rises late, so it’s not hard to spot them before breakfast. Venus is the brilliant “Morning Star” that rises […]

Feb 13

Sky Report: February 14 – February 20

Bright moonlight compromises stargazing this week. The moon doesn’t pass close to anything that would make an interesting conjunction, so it’ll be a slow week for stargazers. There is some interest in the morning sky where you can see three planets. Venus is the only one that is obvious, and it is obvious, shining as […]